No one likes to hear the same drum patterns throughout every song. Likewise, no drummer wants to play the same patterns day in and day out.
The only problem is no one wants to rush to ruin a song.
So how can we, as drummers, spice up our drum playing without sacrificing the integrity of our piece?
The answer is simple really; through drum fills.
Drum fills are, as the name implies, filling in spots with a quick run. They can add extra flavor and added texture to a piece, or they can completely ruin our piece.
The key to not ruining your piece, as most of us don’t want to do this, is being tasteful.
Drum fills can be extravagant, or they can be purely simplistic. The length and the style of the fill should depend on the piece itself.
This means, in simplistic terms, that your fill should be an extension of the song you are playing it in.
If you are playing a jazz piece, it is quite obvious that 250bmp double bass drum fills are out of the question. They will simply ruin the piece, as they won’t fit well. Be intelligent; you know what style you are playing, and thus you know what techniques are used within that style.
In most cases, a simple run on the toms is sufficient. In other cases, you may want to use a cymbal choke. It’s all about context.
If you are playing a country piece, or a ballad, you want to keep you mind within that style of music. Consider it beforehand, and plan out your fills. Being spontaneous can lead to some great things, but it can also lead to some awful things. One of those things is playing to an extreme opposite. You may think it is a neat idea to add a blast beat fill to your blues song, but no one else will. Keep your listener in mind at all times as in the end, they are always right.
If you plan out your fills, it is important that you practice them. Fills can be used in a variety of ways; to enter a chorus, to accent a riff, to outline a solo – anything, really. The important thing is that you take the time to practice, as you don’t want your great idea translating poorly due to poor execution.
If you have an idea of what you want to add to a song as a fill, play it for your band members. Most of the time, they will tell you a complete honest opinion up front. This is because, not only are you playing over your song, but you are also playing over their song. They want it ruined just as much as you do.
In the end, the best approach to spicing up your drumming through use of drum fills is to be careful. Outline your ideas thoroughly in your head, put them to work in practice, and if they sound good, use them. If not, chuck the idea and wait for something new.
Learning how to develop new fills or creating unique patterns will no longer be a mystery to you. Drum Fill System is a step by step instruction program that covers various music genres like rock, jazz, reggae, metal, funk and more… If you are sick and tired of repetitive rudiments, you MUST check this out!